NGO unhappy with fund cancellation

Humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has expressed regret at the cancellation of Round 11 of the Global Fund assistance to Zimbabwe, saying the development would reverse all the gains made in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

MSF head of mission in Zimbabwe Paul Foreman this week told NewsDay his organisation had ratcheted up pressure on the Global Fund to find ways of ensuring the gains made so far would “not go down the drain”.

“MFS internationally is applying pressure on the Global Fund to ensure that potential shortfalls are met. We have been in Zimbabwe since 2005, and we fear that the gains recorded so far will be halted and potentially reversed,” he said.

Foreman, however, said he was confident Zimbabwe would be able to handle its obligations.

“We are fairly confident that Zimbabwe’s treatment of HIV, TB and malaria is fairly well-secured,” he said.

He said the scale of continuity would depend on securing funding and MSF was working towards ensuring Zimbabwe got a favourable response.

He said MSF, which works as an implementer, partner, facilitator and catalyst rather than as a donor, planned to initiate a further 18 500 patients on anti-retroviral therapy to support the treatment of up 56 059 patients.

Speaking at World Aids Day commemorations in December last year, Public Service minister Lucia Matibenga said the withdrawal of funding was bound to worsen the HIV and Aids pandemic.

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